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University of Southern California

Holy Spirit: A Progressive Episcopal Community in Silver Lake

Holy Spirit: A Progressive Episcopal Community in Silver Lake

Holy Spirit: A Progressive Episcopal Community in Silver Lake

Holy Spirit is a small, “off the books” experimental congregation affiliated with the Los Angeles Episcopal Diocese. Members describe in this video how Holy Spirit started as a home Bible-study group and evolved into a small congregation with 20 to 25 people attending services on Thursday evenings.

Although Holy Spirit is affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese, its services are not immediately recognizable as Episcopalian. The church has intentionally styled its community as a place for non-church types to gather for spiritual fellowship and to connect with one another around service projects. The service is organized into a triptych described as “the Lord’s supper in three courses.” The first course allows participants to socialize with one another around food and drink. The second is a contemporary Eucharist service, including the traditional elements as well as a time of reflection usually based on a piece of biblical scripture or other related material. The final course moves to more socializing over dessert.

In addition to the creative reorganization of the worship service, several years ago, members of Holy Spirit launched a local Laundry Love program to provide laundry services once a month to homeless people and the working poor. Their initiative is part of a national non-profit Laundry Love movement that many religious as well as non-religious groups have joined over the last several years. Holy Spirit Silver Lake has partnered with Founders MCC in its local Laundry Love effort.

This video is part of CRCC’s “Reimagining Religion: Stories of Religious Creativity in L.A.” series, part of the Religious Competition and Creative Innovation project. The project was made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.

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